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Hello from our 2019 Governing Body!

Chair of Governors Gemma Berry

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Here is Gemma, looking very youthful! Did you know Gemma used to come to Kirkburton First School when she was a child? She remebers loving reading, espeicially, when the teachers read to the class each day. What a happy memory!


My name is Gemma Berry and I am the new Chair of Governors. I became a Governor in May 2016 because I wanted to understand how the school works and to try and help out in any I can. I have two children Charlotte who is 7 and Evan who is 3. So will have one of them in school for a good number of years to come. 

I really enjoy being a governor and working with the other brilliant governors and teachers to make the school so good. I really love the time I get to go into class and see the children at work. It such a lovely atmosphere in school. 

In my free time, I like to read, go for walks and occasionally bake.


Vice Chair of Governors Jean Selbie


This picture shows Jean, when she was just 4 years old, proudly giving her new baby sister a cuddle. Jean has very Happy memories of being at her Infant School in Fordington , Near Dorchester Dorset. At the time she was at school breaktimes included a little bottle of milk, and she could buy a couple of chocolate biscuits. No wonder Jean is a regular at the dentists!!


Our Staff Governor, Helen Campbell

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I was born in Nottinghamshire and went on study at The University of Reading to train to be a teacher. I moved to Yorkshire in 2007 where I worked at an Infant and Nursery School in Dewsbury before accepting a post at Kirkburton First School in 2015. 


I have lived in Highburton since 2009 with my husband and two young children, Jack and Albie, and although lots of my spare time is taken up with my children's activities I enjoy family days out, music and socialising with friends. 


Due to the recent retirement of Mrs Kitson the position of staff governor became available on the Governing Body. I thought that this would be a good opportunity for me to get involved and support the school in another capacity.

Sue Taylor


I have worked in education, teaching and lecturing all my professional life. I took time out when my two children were small and enjoyed spending time with them. I equally enjoy spending time with the children at Kirkburton school and watching them grow and learn.

My hobbies are cooking, gardening and a range of crafts as well as taking in the beautiful Yorkshire scenery through walking,generally with my husband as he has the sense of direction I lack.

I have been a Foundation governor for about 7 years. I enjoy working with the staff and children at Kirkburton first school because everyone is so enthusiastic. It is good to feel a part of such a caring family, and I also enjoy using my experience to support the children's learning, and to try to ensure that the school run's well. 

I have lived in Kirkburton for 25 years now, and think it is a great community in which to live. I don't seem to have much spare time since I also help with the Church4All and have recently started volunteering at the library to try and keep it open. Still, I do prefer to be busy. I have realised what I don't like is to have my photograph taken, so this one of me taking part in a school visit will have to suffice. It did make use of one of my interests, sewing as I made the skirt apron and mop cap.

This happy photo shows Sue as a young child. Sue has vivid memories of her time at school- one meorie is asking her Mum to come to school, and tell her teacher that she didnt like custard!

Richard Lewis


Hello. I'm Richard Lewis and I am a governor at Kirkburton First School. Both my children have attended KFS and the school has provided them with not only a fantastic academic grounding but with a great social and community awareness. Their time at the school set both of them up well for Middle School.  When my children were still at KFS I decided I'd like to give something back and volunteered to become a Governor and have been fortunate enough to be the "Numbers" Governor looking at the provision of maths and also to be the class governor for the current Class 5 which I have to admit is the best job a governor can do!

As well as being a Governor Im a Chartered Civil Engineer working for Sir Robert McAlpine in Manchester. In my youth I used to swim and play water polo and have just retired from the Army Reserve. I like walking, skiing, camping and watching rugby, but most of my time is spent ferrying and watching children do their various sports and activities.

This photo, is Richard, aged 7 years,- he hasn't changed a bit has he?!

Paula Gray


I have lived in Kirkburton for almost five years and my two daughters are at Kirkburton First School and they really enjoy it. I work in training and drama and I also teach youth theatre classes at the Lawrence Batley Theatre in Huddersfield. In my spare time I enjoy running and creative writing.

I am quite new to the governing body- I became a governor in September 2014.

I wanted to get involved and help in some way at school and I have friends and family who are school governors. They told me how rewarding they found governing so I decided to become a governor.

Colette Kitson

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Hello- my name is Colette Kitson. I am married to Stuart, we have two grown-up sons and two rather gorgeous granddaughters.  Since taking early retirement we have been fortunate to spend more time doing the things we enjoy - like everyone else who has retired we wonder how we found time to work.

During the last 35 years of residing in Kirkburton I have been in a privileged position of having a connection with Kirkburton CE First School in different capacities.  Our first contact was taking our boys to Sunday School which was held in the school building and I remember thinking ‘what a lovely little school’, it really is at the heart of the village.  That viewpoint has not changed over the years through being a parent, treasurer of the PTA, as a teacher, a teacher governor, latterly as a volunteer and returning as a Foundation governor is a real privilege.  

I have always held the school in special regard and as part of the school community will endeavour to ensure Kirkburton CE First School continues as an excellent learning environment where everyone can thrive.

Rachel Straughan

This picture of Rachel as a child, suggests a great sense of fun!

I am Rachel Straughan and I became a Parent Governor in November 2017.  I have lived in Huddersfield for most of my life.  In April 2017 I moved to Kirkburton as had heard lovely things about the village and school and, moving from the Lindley area, was keen to have Joseph attend a smaller school with a family atmosphere.  I went to a school with 117 pupils and can honestly say those were the best years of my life so I am keen for Joseph to have a similar experience.  Joseph started reception in September 2017 and I also have a step-daughter, Ellenor, who is 17, who has done some work experience at the school as she is hoping to become a primary teacher.

I work as a Solicitor in a busy Conveyancing department in Holmfirth and my work commitments don’t always allow me to get involved with the school as much as I would like.  I thought it was important that I had some input and understanding of the school system and a chance to hopefully continue the great work that the teaching and non-teaching staff do at the school, so to become a governor seemed like a great idea.  I am looking forward to my time as a governor in this lovely school.

In my spare time I enjoy Zumba, reading and walking with the family.  Oh, and sunny holidays of course!


Sarah Wood


Sarah is the newest member of our Governing Body. Sarah has 2 children who have been pupils at Kirkburton First School. Sarah works as a local GP.


Amanda Grant


I have been part of the Governing Body at Kirkburton First School for the past year, since becoming the Priest in charge of All Hallows Kirkburton , and Emmanuel Church, Shelley. I am a regular visitor to school, and love working with the children and their teachers to support and foster the Christian ethos in our school community.

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